2012-2013 Player Preview Countdown: #7 Sidiki Johnson

dave@friarblog —  October 29th, 2012 9:58 AM —  Comments
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sidikiLeading up until the season, Friarblog is counting down and profiling the Friar players who will be seeing the court this season.

Here are the previous rankings

#9. Lee Goldsbrough

#8. Brice Kofane

#7. Sidiki Johnson

While it remains to be seen when Sidiki Johnson will suit up for the first time (he enrolled 2nd semester last year so must sit out until at least December 18th), early signs of his turnaround after a lost season at Arizona last year are very promising. Johnson, a former Top-100 recruit, will try to fill in the “void” left by Bilal Dixon and Ron Giplaye transferring out of the program.

ResourcesFriars.com Profile

Follow: As far as I can tell, Sidiki Johnson is the only Friar who doesn’t use Twitter. Man of mystery…

Stud stats: According to his profiles on school websites, we have to reach back a little for some stats. In 2009 he was the was the MVP of the Nike Tournament of Champions Youth Showcase where he dropped 36 points. Rivals also ranked him at #71 in his class at one point.

Dud stats: 9 minutes played. That is all you need to know about Sidiki’s freshman season at Arizona last year. He played sparingly in just four games before being suspended in late November, only to leave the program a couple of weeks later. Interestingly enough, I was at one of the four games he played in. Arizona played St. John’s at MSG on November 17th for the 2K Classic, and Sidiki got in for 2 minutes. Do I remember him? No. If only I knew I would be watching a future Friar! Maybe I would have remembered the one block he registered.

I know what you did last summer: Again, a man of mystery. Presumably he was home in New York this offseason chilling out maxin’ relaxin’ all cool. However, all was completely cool as there were whispers of problems with Sidiki’s attitude early on. In June, bizarre rumors floated around about Sidiki possibly transferring to Iona. It was quickly refuted by multiple sources and everyone moved on.

Know your role: As soon as Johnson is eligible to play, the playing time will be right there for him. How his conditioning holds up remains to be seen, but I would have to imagine he would definitely see more minutes than than Brice Kofane and Lee Goldsbrough. Coach Cooley is going to rely heavily on Sidiki for inside scoring and rebounding in order to take the pressure off of Henton and Batts. The big question is if he can also provide some interior defense, an area the Friars have been burnt pretty heavily over the years.

Fun Fact: Sidiki played for URI coach Dan Hurley when he played for St. Benedict’s High School in Newark, NJ. If he can’t play for the first semester, Sidiki will miss playing against URI by one game.

Relevant Tune: “Head Is A Flame (Cool With It)” – Portugal. The Man.

My head is like a flame
And my eyes were red

Well we all get strange
And we know it
But we’re cool with it

If Sidiki Johnson was a TV Show: “The Following”: It’s a mid-season show, not debuting on FOX until January 2013. I can’t really tell if it’s going to be good or not, but it has Kevin Bacon so it has potential. If Sidiki can provide a good inside presence once he is out on the court, he will get a nice following in Friartown for sure.

Best case scenario: The NCAA throws Ed Cooley a bone, and let’s Sidiki play right away. There is a little rust at first, but he becomes an inside force during the Puerto Rico Tip-Off helping the Friars win 2 of 3 games. Out of conference games are a walk in the park (aside from a loss to NC State). Going forward, Ed Cooley has another BIG EAST body to work with that takes off some pressure off of the back court. While providing an offensive boost to the front court, Sidiki also helps limit the damage of opposing BIG EAST big men by throwing his body around. Stats: 10 ppg, 8 rpb

Worst case scenario: Johnson is denied the waiver to play right away, and must wait until late December to suit up. The time off really hurts (he missed last year, plus a lot of his senior year of high school due to injury) and like Kadeem Batts last season, never gets into a consistent rhythm out on the court. This takes a toll on Johnson, and he gets into the same bad habits that derailed his time in Arizona. Without his contributions, Lee Goldsbrough and Brice Kofane are thrust into a bigger role in BIG EAST play. Stats: 4 games played

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